|Publication number||US5562438 A|
|Application number||US 08/493,676|
|Publication date||Oct 8, 1996|
|Filing date||Jun 22, 1995|
|Priority date||Jun 22, 1995|
|Publication number||08493676, 493676, US 5562438 A, US 5562438A, US-A-5562438, US5562438 A, US5562438A|
|Inventors||Michael W. Gordon, Mikhail Zlatkin, Scott R. Miller|
|Original Assignee||Burnham Properties Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (38), Classifications (12), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to the field of burners for use with commercial and industrial boilers. In particular, it relates to a type of flue gas recirculation burner which greatly reduces air-polluting Nox emissions.
Flue gas recirculation (FGR) technology itself is not new. However, the present system is new, and it serves to reduce fuel NOx emissions far below those found on any commercial boiler.
Existing flue gas recirculation technologies recycle a portion of the relatively cool, low oxygen combustion products from the stack back into the burner. External piping is used to transport the flue gases and mix it with combustion air prior to burning, or, alternatively, to deliver it directly to the combustion zone. This recirculated flue gas acts as a diluent to lower the overall oxygen concentration, to lower the flame temperature, and to lower the residence time at peak temperature. These effects result in large reductions in thermal Nox emissions, but a negligible reduction in fuel Nox emissions. Therefore, flue gas recirculation achieves better reductions with gaseous fuels than with liquid fuels. Because of the greater potential for flame instability and emissions of unburned combustibles with distillate oil firing, recirculation rates are usually limited to approximately 10 to 15%; and, because of this lower recirculation rate and the presence of fuel Nox, oil-fired reductions are typically limited to only 20%.
Normally, one of two designs has been used to achieve FGR. In one, a separate powered fan was used to force the flue gases from the boiler stack into the air plenum or combustion chamber. In the other, the external FGR duct is so placed that the combustion air fan draws both combustion air and flue gases.
In the present invention, we improve the stability and performance limits of the burner by introducing the combustion air and the flue gas tangentially at high velocity into the burner blast tube. The two streams mix thoroughly and are then passed through a diffuser assembly where the air and FGR mixture is directed across natural gas nozzles located peripherally downstream of the diffuser. The combustion process takes place as a high velocity swirling flow down the length of the Morison tube (boiler furnace).
Our combustion apparatus uses a combination of an intense, uniform fuel, air, and flue gas recirculation (FGR) mixing, a high angular momentum flame pattern, and a FGR system to produce low concentrations of Nox, CO, soot and UHC (unburned hydrocarbons) in the exhaust byproducts. FGR is provided through forced draft.
When firing gaseous fuels, a small quantity of burner exhaust gases (flue gas) is drawn from a heat exchanger vent stack by a separate FGR fan and forced through FGR piping to the front of the heat exchanger, by means of a FGR transition conduit, device, and into a cylindrical firing tube assembly, peripherally and on a tangent to the horizontal centerline of the firing tube. There, these exhaust gases are mixed with combustion air, which was provided by a combustion air fan, and separately and independently introduced into the air transition assembly, and into the firing tube upstream of the FGR transition conduit, also on a tangent to the horizontal centerline of the firing tube.
Having both the combustion air and FGR streams introduced tangentially and separately serves to impart a high swirl to the combustion air and FGR streams and thereby creates very uniform mixing of the streams by means of an intense fluid shearing action.
The combustion air and flue gas mixture swirls down the firing tube (tangential mixer) and into the gaseous fuel annulus (plenum), being mixed to uniformity. It then passes through a diffuser assembly which, in turn, increases the velocity and pressure of the mixture and intensifies swirl. The firing tube, diffuser assembly, have a common axis, preferably horizontal.
The gaseous fuel is also injected into the gas annulus by means of a tangential gas inlet pipe, and it likewise swirls within the gas annulus. The gas, combustion air, and flue gas are uniformly mixed by the shearing action; and combustion is then initiated inside a refractory-lined combustion chamber. The combustion chamber is circular in cross section, has an initial diameter approximating that of the diffuser, and has the same axis.
The high velocity swirling flow initiated by introducing the air and FGR streams tangentially produces some surprising results. The air and FGR streams are rapidly and completely blended, creating a homogenous fluid that very effectively mixes with the natural gas, resulting in clean, highly stable combustion.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of our burner.
FIG. 2 is a vertical, longitudinal section of the burner of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 transverse section, taken on line 3--3 of FIG. 2.
Our flue gas recirculation (FGR) burner includes, in series and running from upstream to downstream, a tangential mixer (firing tube) 5, a diffuser assembly 25, a gas head 42, and a combustion chamber 45. All have a common, straight horizontal axis 10, and circular cross-sections, preferably cylindrical. The burned gases from the combustion chamber then pass to the boiler.
Air to go into the mixer 5 is pressurized by air compressor 13 and passes through air conduit 15 to tangential air inlet 17. Flue gas for the mixer comes through flue gas return 18, through flue gas compressor 20 and then through flue gas conduit 19 to tangential flue gas inlet 20.
The tangential mixer 5 has circular walls 7 with inner surfaces 8, defining a cylindrical air plenum 9. Air and recirculated flue gas enter plenum 9 separately and tangentially, and pass through it to the air diffuser with a circular swirling motion, both rotating in the same direction. This swirl is caused by air being injected peripherally and tangentially into cylindrical plenum 9 through tangential air inlet 17, and by flue gas being subsequently injected peripherally and tangentially into cylindrical plenum 9 through tangential flue gas inlet 19. Preferably, the air is introduced into mixer 5 first, followed at a downstream point by the flue gas. Though this sequence can be reversed (by interchanging the positions of the air inlet 17 and the gas inlet 19), the air and gas should be introduced separately and independently, in different axial positions (different transverse planes) in the mixer 5. The direction of rotation of the air and gas should be the same. The resulting air and flue gas mixture passes into diffuser assembly 25, entering it primarily along the periphery of the assembly; it is prevented from entering through the axial, center portion by axial flow blocking plate 11.
Diffuser assembly 25 includes an inner cylinder 29 positioned with an air diffuser ring 27. The inner cylinder contains a plurality of stationary vanes, a set of inner air vanes 31 and a set of outer air vanes 33, the two sets being concentric with one another. These vanes are mounted at an angle which increases the rotation speed of the air/flue gas mixture passing through them, and which blocks axial flow. Thus, the vanes promote the tangential flow of the air and flue gas mix and enhance the mixing of the two. The mix, after leaving the vanes, enters cylindrical gas head 42.
An outer cylinder 37, surrounding inner cylinder 29, serves to form a natural gas plenum 39. Natural gas enters the gas plenum 39 through gas inlet 41 and leaves the plenum and enters the gas head 42 tangentially through a series of ports on gas nozzles 43 radially mounted proximate to the diffuser assembly. The gas leaves the nozzles in a tangential direction proximate to the inner surface of inner cylinder 29, and with a rotation direction the same as that of the air and flue gas mixture. Thus, the gas is admixed thoroughly with the swirling air and flue gas mixture. The tangential motion in both the tangential mixer 5 and in the gas head 42 results in a shearing action which enhances mixing. The resulting mixture passes into combustion chamber 45 (with refractory material 47 along its periphery), where it is burned. The resulting flame pattern has a high angular momentum. Combustion is completed within the refractory lined combustion chamber 45. The product of hot gases then passes to the Morison tube of the boiler in the usual manner.
It will be noted that the air and recirculated flue gas circulate together around the inner periphery of the tangential mixer before entering the diffuser assembly, to become thoroughly mixed. They then are further mixed as they pass through the diffuser assembly. This mixture is then mixed with the natural gas, resulting in a homogenous air-flue gas-natural gas mixture.
We have successfully operated the burner at oxygen levels <0.5% and >9% (which corresponds to excess air between 1% and almost 100%). As far as we know, there is no flue gas recirculation technology on the market which can approach this excess air operating range while maintaining stability. The system's excellent mixing also significantly reduces FGR consumption rates (by approximately 50%) to achieve a given level of Nox. We require only 8-10% FGR consumption (compared to about 15-20% for competitive burners) to reduce Nox to 30 ppm. If we increase FGR rates to 15%, we can achieve Nox levels of 20 ppm, a level of performance beyond the capabilities of most FGR burners. In addition, carbon monoxide rates are typically <10 ppm which is another indication of complete combustion.
The high velocity, swirling flow also improves the boiler performance, apparently due to scrubbing the walls of the Morison tube, which adds a significant convective component to the radiant heat transfer that normally occurs. It turns out that, at a given firing rate, the FGR burner combustion gases exiting the Morison tube are 200° F. cooler than conventional register burner baseline performance. In contrast to most FGR burners, which reduce efficiency compared to conventional burners, our burner improves boiler efficiency about 1.5% to 3%.
In order to provide for back-up, our burner can also operate on liquid fuel, such as fuel oil. In this instance, the fuel oil would enter through fuel oil line 49 and enter the gas head 42 through an atomizing fuel oil nozzle 51.
We have found that our invention has various unique features. Among them are:
1. Very low levels of Nox, CO, soot, and UHC are produced as a result of combustion.
2. The tangential alignment of the air and FGR inlets improves mixing, reduces noise and vibration, and reduces pressure drop.
3. Due to the intense fuel, air, and FGR mixing imparted by the apparatus, very low levels of excess air and FGR are required.
4. Due to the highly turbulent flame produced by this apparatus, which maintains uniform contact with heat exchange surfaces, and the ability to operate with very low levels of excess air and FGR, the thermal efficiency of the heat exchanger is increased.
5. The intense swirling flame created by the apparatus reduces noise and vibration of the combustion process.
6. The use of separate diffusers for gaseous and liquid fuel combustion prolongs equipment life and reduces maintenance requirements.
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|U.S. Classification||431/115, 431/116, 431/9, 431/5, 431/2|
|International Classification||F23C9/00, F23D14/24|
|Cooperative Classification||F23C9/00, F23C2202/30, F23D14/24|
|European Classification||F23C9/00, F23D14/24|
|Oct 2, 1995||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BURNHAM PROPERTIES CORPORATION, DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GORDON, MIICHAEL;ZLATKIN, MIKHAIL;MILLER, SCOTT R.;REEL/FRAME:007659/0358
Effective date: 19950920
|Apr 7, 2000||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Sep 5, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BURNHAM SERVICES, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BURNHAM CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:014455/0367
Effective date: 20021231
|Apr 28, 2004||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 8, 2004||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Dec 7, 2004||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20041008
|Jan 19, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BURNHAM SERVICES, INC., DELAWARE
Free format text: DOCUMENT RE-RECORDED TO CORRECT STATE IN ASSIGNEE S ADDRESS AND TO CORRECT WRONG A PATENT NUMBER 5,551,974 ON AN ASSIGNMENT DOCUMENT PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL 014455 FRAME 0367;ASSIGNOR:BURNHAM CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:015603/0664
Effective date: 20021231